In 14 days, Game of Thrones will finally return. And 35 days after that, Thrones will end. In less time than it seemingly takes Littlefinger to zip around to every corner of Westeros, showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss will deliver a conclusion to the story George R.R. Martin first introduced 23 years ago—and in that precious time they’ll have to answer half a hundred pressing questions: Who will live? Who will die? Who will tell Jon he’s doing it with his aunt?
Separate from those series-shaping questions are countless smaller but still crucial details that the show may or may not explore in the final season. These are Thrones’ loose ends: the characters, places, events, prophecies, and more that the story has made audiences wonder about over the past seven seasons but has yet to satisfyingly wrap up. In the run-up to the final season’s April 14 premiere, we’ll be digging through these loose ends, looking at why they matter and how they could affect the endgame as we count down the days to Thrones’ long-awaited conclusion.
The Loose End
Ser Davos Seaworth, son of a crabber, former smuggler, has seen as much of the world as almost anyone in Game of Thrones: Born in the worst part of the worst part of King’s Landing, he’s sailed east to Braavos to parlay with the Iron Bank; he’s traveled north, set foot beyond the Wall, camped outside of Winterfell twice, and walked through the barracks at both Castle Black and Eastwatch; he’s been to Dragonstone, and back, and back again. He’s also lived as much as anyone in Game of Thrones: He’s smuggled onions, potatoes, and salted beef to Stannis Baratheon’s men during Robert’s Rebellion, earning himself a knightship and losing himself a set of knuckles in the process; he’s seen a woman give birth to a smoke monster; he’s watched his son be consumed by wildfire; he’s saved a bastard boy from a ritual sacrifice; he’s learned to read; he’s gotten a couple of gold cloaks super horny with fermented crab before watching them get their brains bashed in; he’s seen dragons; he’s gone toe-to-toe with Lyanna Mormont, a worthy adversary if there ever was one; he’s been an adviser to two kings; he’s been in the Battle of the Blackwater and the Battle of the Bastards; he’s come this close to sharing a hot tub with Salladhor Saan.
But, uh, why the hell has he forgotten his wife?
Because he does, in fact, have a wife. Her name is Marya Seaworth; she lives in the keep Stannis bestowed on Davos in Cape Wrath, just south of Storm’s End. In the show, she is the mother to Davos’s son Matthos; in the books, Marya and Davos have seven sons—David Benioff and D.B. Weiss distilled them into one to make things simpler. Davos has mentioned Marya on the show—in Season 2’s “The Night Lands,” he remarks to Matthos about how she tried for years to get Davos to learn how to read. And in “Valar Dohaeris,” the premiere episode of Season 3, he mentions his wedding to Salladhor.
But that’s it—seriously. The Onion Knight hasn’t spoken a word about HIS WIFE in nearly five full seasons. Their ONLY SON died a gruesome death, and Ser Davos didn’t even consider going to Cape Wrath to console his mourning wife—instead he ran right back to Stannis, who threw him in a cell for his trouble. Davos was eventually freed but remained loyal to Stannis, despite overwhelming evidence that the man was losing the ability to make rational decisions, his mind clouded by a thirst for the throne and an overreliance on Melisandre’s leech-related tricks. (I’d just like to note: Stannis is a guy who repeatedly talks about how gross horse meat is, but whenever the moment comes in which a horse might need to be turned into meat, he’s a little too eager to seize it.) From there, Davos sailed north, latched onto a then-dead Jon Snow after Brienne of Tarth (probably) killed Stannis, and after yet more battles traveled back to Dragonstone to propose an alliance with Daenerys Targaryen and oversee the mining of the castle’s reserve of dragonglass. I mention all of this traveling for a reason—take a look at Ser Davos’s path over the course of the show:
First of all, quite a bit of moving around here, so clearly my guy isn’t against taking a trip. But more importantly, he’s been so close to the Stormlands several times! Couldn’t he have made a stop and been like, “Hey, wife. How’s it going? I know I haven’t been back since I led our only son into fiery oblivion, but, ya good?” In Season 7, he and Jon spend multiple episodes putzing around Dragonstone—couldn’t he have asked his boss for a half-day off to make a pop-in at Cape Wrath? Or, I don’t know, COULDN’T HE HAVE JUST MENTIONED HIS WIFE ONCE OVER THE PAST SEVERAL YEARS???
Why This Loose End Matters
I’m sorry if it seems like I’m yelling, but this is pretty weird! Ser Davos is one of the most honorable characters on Game of Thrones. He’s intelligent, reasonable, principled, and, above all, loyal. He wears the tips of his fingers in a pounch around his neck as a reminder, for god’s sake. (Maybe he should wear a wedding ring as a reminder too.) So it’s quite strange that this bastion of loyalty has completely ignored the woman to whom he’s been wed for so long. And for anyone who wants to argue that Marya is dead in the show, allow me to point back to that conversation Davos has with Salladhor in “Valar Dohaeris,” in which Salladhor remarks that Davos will have a widow should he die in the wars to come.
It seems like Davos simply forgot about Marya. When Princess Shireen teaches him how to read, he never makes any mention of how proud Marya would be. And in the wake of Shireen’s death, Davos seems almost singularly consumed by it. “I loved that girl, like she was my own!” he tells Melisandre after learning that she burned Shireen at the stake. While that may be true, it’s somewhat blunted by the fact Davos has seemingly forgotten about his wife—someone who is literally “his own.” Maybe he should get back in touch with his actual family before adopting others?
All of this bizarreness culminates in Season 7, when Davos travels to Dragonstone and suddenly becomes a horny old man (maybe he sampled too much of his own supply of fermented crab). He makes a joke to Jon about liking Dany’s “good heart” (he is not talking about her heart). And he is extremely into Missandei, inquiring about her accent, even seeming a bit flustered by her presence. Their most telling exchange occurs in “The Spoils of War,” when Missandei expresses confusion about Jon’s status as a bastard. “We don’t have marriage in Naath,” she says, “so the concept of a bastard doesn’t exist.”
Davos replies: “That sounds … liberating.”
Man, WHAT?! What is going on here?! There are only two ways to read this line, and they’re both bad: (1) Davos could be making one of those classic “Ah, the ol’ ball and chain” jokes that married guys make, which would be quite a messed-up way to mention your wife (who he clearly isn’t chained to at all) for the first time in years; or (2) He could simply be making a horny old guy joke, which is also bad BECAUSE HE IS A MARRIED MAN!
I understand that war is hard. I understand that the looming threat of a descending horde of undead soldiers makes matters such as family seem petty (although, and maybe this is just me, I think impending doom would make me grow even closer to my loved ones). But Ser Davos lives his life by an otherwise admirable code of ethics to which “forget about my wife” wouldn’t seem to belong. And now he’s drooling over ladies from Essos?
How Season 8 Could Address It
Sadly, the most likely outcome is that Season 8 won’t address it at all. According to the Action Network, Davos has among the highest death odds on the show, which makes sense: His death would carry considerable emotional weight, but he’s not exactly indispensable. He’s also quite old, and is the first one to admit that he’s a liability on the battlefield. In death, Davos probably won’t plaintively yell for his wife; he will go quietly and honorably, and this loose end will remain a loose end.
But ideally, I would love to see Davos live—if anyone deserves it, it’s him—and for Game of Thrones to address Marya in epilogue. Picture it: Ser Davos, having stood by Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen and witnessed their narrow victory against the White Walkers, gets on a boat and sets sail for the Stormlands. After an arduous, contemplative journey, he arrives at Cape Wrath. He walks from the docks, through the town, remembering simpler times—when he and Marya used to gaze at the sunsets, when he first taught Matthos how to helm a ship. He finally arrives home, walks through the door, and Marya spots him. She drops to her knees, tears stream from her eyes. “I’m home,” Ser Davos says.
And then Marya tells him that she thought he was dead, and that she remarried years ago.
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